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Royal visit to Crawley for official opening

HRH The Countess of Wessex officially opened the South East Coast Ambulance Service’s new Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and Headquarters.

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Crawley welcomed a member of the Royal family today (Tues 8th May) as HRH The Countess of Wessex visited the town to officially open the South East Coast Ambulance Service’s new Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and Headquarters.

Arriving by helicopter at Hazelwick school, the Countess was greeted by the head girl and boy before travelling by car to the new headquarters where she was welcomed by staff and local leaders.

HRH The Countess of Wessex meets Crawley Mayor Brian Quinn and Chief Executive of Crawley Borough Council Natalie Brahma-Pearl.

With the sun shining the Countess was greeted by a large number of staff from the new HQ, all of whom had waited patiently in the hot sun.

Crawley MP Henry Smith welcomes the Countess.

After greeting and chatting with several local dignitaries the Countess was then taken on a tour of the new facility where she was able to speak to numerous staff about the complexities of their job.

HRH The Countess of Sussex is presented with a bouquet of flowers by resource despatcher Megan Chinery.

The royal visit was very popular with staff from all departments.

SECAmb Chief Executive Daren Mochrie with HRH The Countess of Wessex next to the unveiled plaque officially opening the new HQ.

Staff began moving into the new building in May 2017 with staff from the Trust’s former EOC in Lewes the first to relocate. EOC colleagues from the Trust’s former site in Banstead in Surrey moved to the new building in September.

The impressive home to South East Coast Ambulance Service’s new Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and Headquarters in Crawley.

The moves provided greater capacity across two EOCs and ensured SECAmb is better placed to manage current and future demand.

It also meant support services were brought under one roof for the first time since the formation of SECAmb in 2006 with the merger of Kent, Surrey and Sussex ambulance services.

The centre, with SECAmb’s other EOC in Coxheath, Kent, typically handles more than 2,000 calls every day.

The new EOC is home to some 250 staff with a further 250 support staff based on the floor above.
999 calls are answered by emergency medical advisors non-geographically across the Trust’s two EOCs. Ambulances are dispatched locally from each EOC.

A team of clinicians are also on hand in each EOC to provide advice and support to patients and colleagues.

SECAmb Chief Executive Daren Mochrie said:

“I’m delighted that our new EOC and HQ was officially opened by HRH The Countess of Wessex and I pleased to be able to show her around the EOC and introduce her to staff.

Given the significance of the tremendous work which goes on in the building and in particular in the EOC itself, it is appropriate that it receives this high-profile official opening.

“While it was important that we moved to the new building and the benefits it brings, I want to pay tribute to all the staff, across every department and role who are working tirelessly day-in, day-out to help our patients.

Without them, of course, this is just another building. With them, and their dedication and professionalism, we are a service which saves lives and helps people every day.”

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Crawley’s Community Wardens earn RSPCA award

Community Wardens in Crawley have once again been recognised for their ‘exceptional animal welfare work’.

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Crawley Borough Council’s Community Wardens have scooped up the RSPCA’s Gold Stray Dog Footprint for the tenth year in a row.

The award recognises the wardens’ constant dedication to keeping local dogs safe, ensuring they receive the best possible care from start to finish, including kennelling, rehoming and emergency treatment.

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In acknowledgment of the PawPrint Award’s 10th anniversary and the Community Wardens’ decade of commitment to animal welfare, they have subsequently achieved the Platinum Stray Dog Footprint.

The Community Wardens Service has dealt with 72 stray dogs from January to August; five dogs were handed over to rehoming organisations and the rest went back to their owners. In addition to this, they were able to reunite a stolen dog with his family after two months away from home.

Councillor Geraint Thomas, Cabinet member for Environmental Services, said: “I’m so pleased that our Community Wardens have been recognised yet again for their exceptional animal welfare work. Their passion to keep dogs in Crawley safe is commendable.

“To continue to keep dogs safe, remember to microchip your pup. Not only is it the law but it’s crucial for good dog welfare and provides you with peace of mind.”

If you come across a lost dog and are unable to return them directly to their owner, contact the Community Wardens straight away on 07884 492324 and they will arrange to collect the dog from you, after investigating ownership.

If you find a dog between 9.30pm and 8am, call 07831 553906. The finder of a stray dog is required by law to return the dog to its owner or contact the local authority for the area in which the dog was found.

For advice and information on lost and found dogs, click here.

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